It was a magical night Tuesday evening at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers finally broke their four wins in a row curse, by winning their fourth consecutive game with an 8-4 win over Atlanta in the opening game of their eight game home stand.
The Dodgers had to come from behind to beat the Braves, and cope with another ineffective Josh Beckett start. After being down 4-2 in the fifth inning, the Dodgers rallied to tie and then take the lead. It was the announcement of Vin Scully’s return to the broadcast booth that ignited the Dodgers, and the crowd during the epic win.
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Dodgers Lineup vs. Atlanta
Van Slyke LF
Matt Kemp hit two home runs, and looked like the Bison of old with his two towering Beastmode blasts. That was the seventh multi-home run game for Kemp. Yasiel Puig collected four hits, including a triple, and double. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits and drove in two runs and the Dodgers were like extra base hit machines.
While Beckett’s outing was disappointing, the Dodger bullpen picked up the slack. Jamey Wright, Brandon League, J.P. Howell, and Kenley Jansen all staved off the Braves after Beckett had to be removed in the fifth. Jansen recorded his 31 save of the season to seal the deal.
The Dodgers are now three games ahead of the slumping Giants who have now lost six in a row.
As for the trade deadline, it looms tomorrow afternoon. But so far nothing new to be reported. It’s all quiet on the western front. It appears that Matt Kemp will remain a Dodger and the club has backed off of talks for a front line starter. The Dodgers have been rumored to be talking to San Diego about reliever Joaquin Benoit, but otherwise there is nothing new to report as of right now. Of course we will keep you updated on any trade news.
Speaking of traded players, newly acquired infielder Darwin Barney has been optioned to Albuquerque. Remember the Dodgers Designated long lost left handed reliever Scott Elbert to create room on the 40-man roster for him. It appears Barney will be stashed in Albuquerque for depth, and I am sure we’ll see him when rosters expand in September. Great Lakes pitcher Jonathan Martinez was sent to the Cubs to complete the trade.
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As for tonight’s match-up, Alex Wood will counter Zack Greinke in game two.
The 23-year old left hander is 7-8 this season with a 3.44 ERA for the Braves. He’s whiffed 94 and walked just 24 in 96.2 innings pitched. This is Wood’s second season in the majors, and has only faced the Dodgers in two games. In a little over two innings, Wood has whiffed three. Since the Dodgers have not seen him much, we’ll have to go the scouting report. Apparently Wood has a lively fastball, and his changeup is a plus secondary pitch. He also has a breaking ball he mixes in occasionally. He has a very strange delivery as well.
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The Dodgers will counter with Zack Greinke. In his last start Greinke dominated the Giants over seven innings. Tonight he’ll face a much tougher lineup. Greinke is 12-6 with a 2.74 ERA and 140 whiffs in 21 starts this season.
Greinke is 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA in three starts lifetime against the Braves. He’s held the Braves to a .265 (31 for 117) average with three home runs, and an OPS of .753. Justin Upton is batting .353 (6 for 17) with two home runs against Greinke.
The Braves were without right fielder Jason Heyward last night because he was sitting out with back spasms. He could be back in the lineup tonight.
The Dodgers will go for their season high fifth consecutive win tonight! Keep this momentum going boys!
Game Time – 7:10 PM